Jean Prouvé’s 1944 design, the 6x6m Demountable House has been adapted by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) for Design Miami/Basel 2015 at the Galerie Patrick Seguin. Originally designed to rehouse war victims in Lorraine, France, the Demountable House was built entirely of wood and metal, and could be transported and assembled by two people in a day. The new adaptation, led by Ivan Harbour of RSHP, is reimagined as a holiday retreat, complete with a bathroom and kitchen pods and service trolleys providing hot water and solar energy. Read more about this adaptation after the break.
Designers are trained to consider the context for a finished building, but often neglect to consider the construction phase. When architecture is primarily judged based on the impacts it has on their surroundings once they are built, what can be learned from the process of building? The time-lapse is a method that can help architects to do just that, as it can capture years of complex development in a matter of minutes. This can uncover patterns of impact on social and economic levels, as months to years are played back over several minutes.
What is shown by time-lapse videos, though, can be as disturbing as it is interesting; when uncovered, the construction process is a revealing process, and the ramifications in regard to energy consumption can be as monumental as the buildings themselves. The time-lapse allows the viewer to get a better understanding of the types and amounts of materials being put into the construction of buildings, and the impact construction has on its immediate surroundings. By comparing time-lapse videos of different projects, what insight can we gain about how the physically generative process of architecture affects people and place?
Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House, a rare early example of a prefabricated housing concept, was fully assembled and on display to the public last week at Art Basel Miami 2014, just in time for the design's 70th birthday. The display was part of Swiss luxury brand Bally's tour of the original 1944 structure, with its next and final stop scheduled for Design Shanghai in 2015. This fascinating time lapse video reveals the full construction process and gives us an inside look into how each component of the house comes together, from the floor boards to the structure of the roof, to the final exterior cladding. Check out the video above to see Prouvé's structure come together, or see images below of the completed structure.
Marking the second edition of Design Shanghai, this year’s exhibition will take place March 2015 and will include over 300 exhibitors across three halls; Contemporary Design, Classic Design, and Collectible Design. Featured among the confirmed installations is Jean Prouvé’s Demountable House, a rare early example of prefabricated housing.
French architect Jean Prouvé is regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential designers, and is known for combining bold elegance with economy of means in a socially conscious manner. He is also recognized for his manufacturing firm, Les Ateliers Jean Prouvé, where he designed and produced lightweight metal furniture in collaboration with some of the most well known designers of the time. One such designer was Pierre Jeanneret, a Swiss architect and furniture designer who often worked with his more famous cousin, Le Corbusier.
Read on after the break to learn more about this year’s featured exhibition.
Inside France's "Modernity, Promise or Menace?" - Special Mention Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014
This year's French Pavilion stood out as one of the best pavilions in the Giardini, communicating a clear, engaging thesis and receiving a Special Mention from the jury.
Curator Jean-Louis Cohen poses four questions throughout four galleries, demonstrating the contradictions that fill the story of modernity and architecture in France. The ambivalent responses of architecture to the original promise of modernity is shown through the juxtaposition of a continuous cinematographic montage (playing simultaneously throughout all four galleries) and large-scale objects.
Watch an excerpt from Teri Wehn Damisch's film and read the curator's statement after the break. For a virtual tour of the space designed by Paris-based firm Projectiles, follow this link. And make sure to keep an eye out for our video interview with curator Jean-Louis Cohen (coming soon).
Mid-March brought the destruction of an important 1970s building that symbolized the experimental nature of industrialized housing that became popular after World War II as an effort to meet the economic demands of reconstruction. Known as the “experimental building of SIRH”, the eight storey abandoned structure was created by sixty prefabricated modules that served as a prototype for the SIRH Process – a construction process that experimented with the idea of prefabricating flexible standard living cells that could be easily assembled on site in a unlimited amount of configurations to provide for affordable individual or collective dwellings. This process was designed by French architect Claude Prouvé – son of the illustrious French architect, designer and metal worker Jean Prouvé, who is widely known for successfully and beautifully transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture. The experimental building of SIRH, along with many other 1960s and 1970s structures, remains largely under-explored. Due to a spontaneous mobilization of architects, students and researchers in January 2012, the SIRH building has been documented and photographed in detail before it was demolished in March. Starting Thursday, June 7th, the Maison de l’architecture Lorraine will be hosting a fascinating exhibition that will display this documentation and explore the innovative process and prototypes of Claude Prouvé. Continue reading after the break to learn more!
The design of gas stations is mostly stripped down to that required for bare function. The inextricable relationship of the aesthetics of modernism to that of the automobile begs a different approach, one that fulfills the traditional function of a gas station but also reflects shifting movements within design. Just like the cars that have driven up to utilize them, these gas stations represent design principles contemporary to the time in which they were constructed.
For the first time in public, the Galerie Patrick Seguin will present live, every day, the set up of a Jean Prouvé 6×6 meter demountable bungalow, created for the war victims in Lorraine. Indeed, a team composed of 3 persons will take care of the set up of this reference of demountable architecture on the booth on a daily basis – from 11am to 7pm – unveiling each day the absolute modernity of this project. At night, a second team will be in charge of the taking down and crating of each of the elements composing the house (portal frame and ridge beam, exterior joint covers, facade panels, metal floor structure…) For the nocturne on Thursday 16 June the gallery will organize the set up, dismantling, and crating all in one day. More information and images after the break.